Each morning, it’s a different movie. I raise the curtains, open the blinds, and let the film roll. Usually it begins with the same elderly lady walking her physically challenged Yorkshire Terrier. And then comes a band of youngsters in Neon pink and green. The voices rise all the way to the window and in, along with the bright rays of the morning sun. A few hours pass. Except for the slight sway of weak branches, there is no movement. A brief recess. And then it resumes. A mother pushing her baby stroller; a couple on a casual walk, teenagers poring over their phones…I watch, taking in the magic of the mundane. My eyes catch a face on the opposite window; just like that, I am in someone else’ movie. Time ticks, sun sets, every window now is a pale orange canvas. I close the blinds, and wait for the next show at dawn.
My obsession with sketching has taken a new high. I have signed up for a course on graphic illustration. It is being taught by this wonderful instructor called Junichi Tsuneoka (look him up!). He is a serious guy who dissects what seems like a complicated subject into small chunks and places it in small platters for us to consume. Each video is just five to six minutes long, and packed with a ton of info. But most important of all, the course inspires me to think out of the box, and expand from just sketching realistic images to more wacky ones. But also the kind that conveys a story. Anyway, I have only just begun it. There is a long way to go. A journey that I will be sharing with you all (translates to: expect a lot more sketch posts).
Meanwhile, as promised, here are some more sketches that I worked on in the past week.
#1 A beautiful apartment in Jersey City. Pull up those blinds and what you see is the Hudson river cradling the New York skyline. I have been here so many times, but still haven’t been able to make up my mind if the scene is best at dawn or dusk.
#2 On the path train. Four of us were travelling in the train, tired after the day’s adventure. And all of a sudden, the lady right opposite to us zips open her back pack, and a pair of eyes stares back at us. An adorable homeward bound Shih Tzu.
#3 My sister sent me a picture of my niece. She had made a welcome gift for her dad who was visiting them over the weekend. There was a heart and fish shaped paper card that melted my heart like a slice of butter on a hot pan.
#4 An afternoon walk to the library. This is just outside our apartment. I was waiting for a car to pass, and cross the road. I stopped and soaked in the simple beautiful picture in front of me. A line of apartments, a field of green, a few trees shimmering in the afternoon sunlight, and a very strawberry colored STOP sign.
#5 Me. Listening to Tom Odell’s Another Love.
Over the last one week, I have been sketching quite relentlessly. Trying to reduce the time I take to finish a single sketch. So much so that, I have ended up with a terrible neck ache. But it’s an addiction that I am not willing to let go. Capturing the world in simple black ad white lines helps me makes sense of it.
Hope you like them. Also, if you have any suggestions, would love to read them in the comments section.
#1 The Strand
I heard about The Strand bookstore in one of the news articles. Apparently it is one of the best bookstores in the whole world. Located in the corner of East 12th Street, in the neighborhood of Manhattan, it welcomes you with a tome of books on either side of the door. All kept under the burning sun for passersby to peruse. At discounted rates, a thick travel book about Ireland is definitely a good buy. We enter, and there are just shelves and shelves of books. Enough for one to play a good game of hide and seek. And if its not books, then it is The Strand merchandise. Bags, T-shirts, sketchbooks, etc. We spent a good 30 minutes just walking in the aisles, surrounded by books, just too confused to pick just one.
#2 Newport Center selfie corner
Right when you enter the Newport Center mall, on the left side is a colorful selfie spot. The backdrop is a nice scenery, with the ropes of the swing ending right on top of a tall stool. You can sit on the stool, and act like you are holding the rope. It is fun and creative. In this sketch, while everything else is as is, I took the liberty of getting rid of the stool legs.
#3 Times Square
This was just a few minutes before we entered Radio City Hall for Ludovico Einaudi’s concert. It was a Saturday evening, and Times Square was buzzing with activity. A sea of people floated in front of us. Tons of people rested on the steps, below the flashy billboards, taking snaps of what is probably the busiest part of America. After standing, a little dazed, for a few seconds, we mixed in with the crowd, like thin brooks joining a river. And flowed we did, to our respective seas.
#4 Quill and ink
I had bought a set of quill and ink from Quincy Market, Boston, almost five months ago. It came with a nicely yellowed, almost archaic-looking, crushed, parchment. I had forgotten about this buy, until recently when I had an urge to write my journal with an ink pen. So I mixed the ink powder with hot water, and let it rest for a while, before filling my ink pen with it. There is something so primal about seeing fresh ink dry up on a white page.
And here is what I did with the parchment. Borrowed a quote from the coolest man, Ron Swanson (Parks and Rec, anyone?)
It’s summer. Period.
#6 The Halal Guys
Just done with the Ludovico Einaudi concert, we were starving, and my heels, still not broken in, were biting my feet. However, we walked the extra mile, to the ever-crowded road-side eatery The Halal Guys. While it is best known for its gyro and chicken, we, a bunch of vegetarians, wanted rice with falafel. We waited for almost 20 minutes in a long queue. Only to be told that the vegetarian meal is over. Such is the demand of this dimly-lit mobile food joint.
Until the next five.
Happy weekend all!